Business Award Finalists
Business Award Finalists
These are the first of our Business finalist stories:
Do Good Business Finalists
Steve Webb is a landscape architect, perma-culturalist and experienced gardener with a passion for the environment and a belief that landscaping should support a sustainable future.
His interest in the environment and particularly urban play areas led Steve to create Edible Kids Gardens (Green Life Design), a business that creates engaging children’s play grounds that ignite in kids a love of nature and educate them about it and their environment.
The landscape and playground designs respond to kids’ innate desire for play while working in sync with nature’s intricate ecosystems. They aim to engage all the senses through the use of textural, colourful and scented plants, foliage and fruits which change through the seasons, and include elements such as ramps and bridges, elevated play areas, wildlife habitats, balancing and climbing challenges, swings, and natural features such as creeks, boulders and water features.
Steve believes playgrounds should be magical spaces of learning and creativity within a natural environment rather than structures devoid of their physical context. He hopes to engender in kids a sense of responsibility for nature so that they will grow up to preserve it.
When Liam Foldi was just 16 he started Kenshi Candles, a social enterprise that supports people and projects in need in Australia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea and Myanmar.
Liam grew up with a strong sense of giving, he also recognised many others felt the same way. He wanted a vehicle that would enable him to give back, something that had social purpose at its core that would give like-minded people the opportunity to give too. So, the idea for Kenshi Candles was born. People already bought scented candles so why not develop a social enterprise business that could fulfil a need and support a host of worthwhile causes.
In a very short period of time the business has taken off bringing the total of monies rasied to more than $75,000.
Liam is also working with the Chin community in Melbourne to produce the candles. Many in this group fled the civil war in Myanmar and having employment is making a huge difference to their lives here.
Liam is determined and entrepreneurial, and focused on delivering lasting positive change to peoples lives.
Established by Dr Alicia Kennedy, Cherished Pets Community Veterinary Care is a social enterprise that takes a wholistic view of animal and human welfare.
Cherished Pets provide a ground breaking social veterinary service to the elderly, people living with disabilities, mental health challenges, the homeless community and those experiencing family violence. Part of this unique program includes companion pets for vulnerable people within the community and support, through the Cherished Pets Foundation, to eligible beneficiaries through volunteer home pet care assistance, crisis pet care and subsidy funding towards veterinary costs.
In four short years they have assisted over 100 elderly and vulnerable people with their pets through their volunteer program that matches trained volunteers with elderly residents for home pet care assistance including dog walking, transport to the vet, grooming, bathing and companionship. They also provide emergency care for pets during times of crisis; community vet nurse visits; pet wellness programs; behavioural training; funding towards unexpected costs; pet bereavement support; respite care and re-homing of pets when people pass.
Over the past 18 months they have supported more than 50 eligible beneficiaries, provided over 450 community vet nurse visits, coordinated over 1000 hours of volunteer assistance, provided 480 nights respite care for pets, re-homed 12 pets and arranged in excess of $26K of veterinary care.
Cherished Pets is also B Corp Certified and is part of a global task force with the International Association of Human Animal Interaction Organisations setting benchmarks for pets in community programs.
Isaac Peel is like many young men, he goes to the gym, loves live music, cars and the Canberra Raiders. He is also like 2.1million Australians of working age, he has a disability.
Isaac’s disability is complex so he has a microboard – a group of family and friends that have formed an incorporated association called Isaac’s Band of Brothers and Sisters Inc. Their role is to help build and safeguard the good life Isaac wants. Based on Isaac’s love of riding in cars and meeting people, and his ability to carry things and remembering routines, the microboard helped start up Isaac Delivers.
Their goal is to give Isaac the satisfaction of work and the opportunity to form friendships with the people he meets. He delivers to eight locations around Canberra and meets about 40 people each day. He also has hundreds of followers on his Facebook page, has represented his business at two conferences, is featured on the National Microenterprise Directory and has been on WIN News.
Isaac’s story is helping people all over Australia to imagine more around the possibilities of employment for people with disability and through his enterprise he is promoting inclusion and increasing others confidence in interacting with people with disability.
Josie Grenfell is a ninja waste warrior. She started the Little Waste Co., a sustainable waste consultancy, with the premise that lots of little changes can have a big impact and she’s right.
She is a passionate advocate for environmental sustainability and has thrown herself head first into doing what she can to have a positive environmental impact through educating people on practical ways they can reduce waste including recycling, composting, collecting soft plastics and addressing the enormous problem of food waste.
Josie works closely with organisations such as OzHarvest and is in the process of sourcing funding support for a regional mobile food rescue van to deliver rescued food to isolated regional towns that OzHarvest cannot reach and will partner with other charities to maximise the community benefit.
If she could change anything is would be the way supermarkets manage their food waste.
Josie says, ‘It’s heartbreaking to see edible food wasted, when it should be given to people, then to animals, then to worms/insects, then to soil, then complete the cycle back to food.’
She has made a considerable impact in her region that has resulted in a significant reduction in waste to landfill. She has achieved this through redirecting food waste to eco-friendly processing methods, repurposed and redirected medical equipment to developing nations via Rotary Australia, increased food donations to food rescue charities, reduced contamination of waste streams and provided education and environmental action pathways within her community and beyond.
Cherri on Top is a social enterprise event management company that supports the mental health and wellbeing of performers within the industry and is raising awareness of the mental health issues that plague the performing arts sector.
Taking care to run their business with sustainability, best practice and ethics front of mind, Cherri on Top provides opportunities to ensure emerging and established performing artists can learn how to promote and protect their own mental, emotional and financial wellbeing.
Most artists earn less than $30,000 per annum and with this statistic there comes double the suicide attempts than the general community, and 20 percent of artists are reported to be addicted to alcohol and/ or drugs.
Cherri on Top offer a service to support artists as an ear to share their dreams, concerns, or a shoulder to cry on. They also deliver wellbeing workshops from business basics to beating imposter syndrome and creating time for self-care, along with a school program that provides students with a realistic view of a career in the performing arts sector.